Ear Infections Specialist Questions and Answers
Our doctors and medical professionals offer comprehensive treatment for ear infections at Fast Aid Urgent Care. For more information, call us or book an online appointment. We have convenient locations to serve you in Bulverde Rd San Antonio TX, Bastrop TX, and Alamo Ranch San Antonio TX.
What causes ear infections?
Medical professional publications also refer to an ear infection as Acute Otitis Media, which is an infection of the middle ear, which is an air-filled space behind the eardrum which contains the tiny vibrating bones inside the ear. An ear infection is generally caused by a bacterial or viral infection, and commonly is the result of having a cold, flu, or an allergy. The result can be swelling and congestion of the throat, nasal passages, and the Eustachian tubes, which are narrow tubes running from the middle-ear to high in the back of the throat and behind the nasal passages. The Eustachian tubes regulate air pressure, refresh the air in the ear and drain normal fluid secretion. Eustachian tubes can become swollen and blocked, causing fluid to build in the middle ear, which can become infected and lead to the symptoms of an ear infection. Children between 6 months and 2 years of age are much more susceptible to ear infections because their immune systems are still developing as well as the shape and size of their Eustachian tubes. Ear infections are quite common in the fall and winter months, and people who suffer from seasonal allergies might be at a greater risk of ear infections, especially when pollen counts are high. Poor air quality also leads to a higher risk of ear infections.
How do you know it’s an ear infection?
Some of the more common symptoms of ear infection in children include:
- Ear pain (more when lying down)
- Pulling or tugging at the ear
- Trouble sleeping, fussiness or crying a lot
- Not responding to sounds or hard time hearing
- Losing balance
- 100 F fever (38 C) or more
- Fluid drainage
- Loss of appetite
Most adults have likely experienced an ear infection and are aware of the symptoms such as ear pain, drainage of fluid, and difficulty hearing.
Symptoms of an ear infection can also be signs of other conditions, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment from your doctor. If you or your child are experiencing any symptoms of an ear infection, it’s time to call the doctor:
- If symptoms last for longer than a day
- If your child is under 6 months of age
- If ear pain is severe
- If your infant or toddler is sleepless and irritable following a cold or upper respiratory infection
- If you observe fluid discharge from the ear (puss or bloody fluid)
When an ear infection is serious?
Ear infections commonly result in mild hearing loss and generally get better after the infection has cleared, however, infections and build-up of fluid in the middle ear that occur can result in more significant hearing loss. Infants or toddlers may experience delays in speech and social and developmental skills. Infections in the ear that don’t respond well to treatment, or untreated infections can spread to nearby tissues. Mastoiditis is an infection of the boney structure behind the ear that can lead to cysts or damage to the bone. Though rare, serious middle-ear infections that spread to the skull, including brain membrane, can cause meningitis.
What is the difference between an earache and an ear infection?
An earache is normally in one ear, though it can be in both and can be constant or come-and-go accompanied by sharp, dull, or burning pain. With an ear infection, a person may also have a fever and temporary hearing loss. Children who have an ear infection tend to be irritable, sleepless, or cry a lot and tug at their ears.
If you sense that you or your child may have an ear infection, give us a call at Fast Aid Urgent Care right away, and a member of our professional and friendly team of physicians will have you taken care of. Send us a text or give us a call, or drop in for immediate care. Visit our website to find a Fast Aid Urgent Care near you.
We serve patients from Bulverde Rd San Antonio TX, Windcrest TX, Selma TX. Bastrop TX, Paige TX, Smithville TX, Alamo Ranch San Antonio TX, Leon Valley TX, and Helotes TX.